Algeria to open relations with Libya transitional council
By Walid Ramzi for Magharebia in Algiers – 24/08/11
As Libyan rebels reclaim Tripoli and the Kadhafi regime ends, Algeria is working to establish formal relations with the Libya's Transitional National Council (TNC).
In a response issued Tuesday (August 23rd), Algeria's foreign ministry said the country had opened channels of communication with the TNC. Algeria's highest priorities in Libya, according to the statement, are general security, enduring stability, unity and political reform.
The Algerian government said it would move quickly towards normalised relations with the TNC if it issued an apology for earlier charges against the Algerian regime.
The ministry repeated Algeria's denial of assisting Kadhafi's regime during the conflict: "Since the outbreak of protests in Benghazi in mid February, Algeria didn't support, whether militarily or politically or in any other form, Kadhafi's regime," it reads.
Amid reports of theft and vandalism at the Algerian embassy in Tripoli, Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci sent an urgent message to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to take the necessary actions to ensure the safety of Algerian diplomats.
With the military situation in flux, Algeria on Sunday placed ground forces posted along the Libyan border on high alert and increased aerial surveillance after groups of armed four-wheel drive vehicles were spotted in the area.
Algerian political parties reacted to the Libyan rebel victories. The Socialist Forces Front (FFS) described the imminent fall of Moamar Kadhafi's regime as "good news for all strugglers for freedom and democracy in the entire world".
The party called on the Libyan people "to quickly unite around a truly representative national leadership that can build a sovereign state of rights and democracy". However, the party expressed its fears that this democratic transition "may face greater difficulties in its implementation".
The Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) issued a congratulatory statement on Tuesday, saying: "The road is still long and difficult to re-build a state commensurate with the size of sacrifices that the steadfast Libyan people have offered… Libya's future today is in your hands."
Analysts warn of the regional impact regime change may have on security.
Dr. Mhend Berkouk, professor of international relations at the University of Algiers and director of the Centre for Security and Political Studies, said that Kadhafi's fall could lead to an increase in refugees, cross-border organised crime and terrorist threats in the Sahel and North Africa.
As to the effects of Libyan turmoil on Algeria's energy sector, former Sonatrach executive Abdelmadjid Attar said there was no real threat to investments in the Ghadames basin. Sonatrach's operations in Libya will continue, he said.
Subscribe to our newsletter and get Magharebia's latest articles delivered to your inbox.